Marie-Victorin: who benefits?

A new poll by Mainstreet Research during the Marie Quiz, where Monday’s by-election takes place, gives CAQ nominee Shirley Dorismond an edge over PQ Pierre Nantel and shows a collapse in support for others who have left.

To the question: “As you may know, there will be a by-election in your district of Marie-Victorin to elect a representative to the National Assembly of Quebec. Who are you going to vote for in this by-election? “Coalition candidate Avenir Quebec is gaining 40% support among the entire survey sample of 431 respondents. Pierre Nantel of the Parti Québécois was supported by 33% of those polled. Candidates from liberals (8%), Solidarity (5%) and conservatives (5%) are far behind the leaders. Overall, 8% of respondents say they are undecided.

Among the voters who made the decision, CAQ receives support of 43% against 36% of the Party of Quebec.

Last week, a local poll by Repère Communication in the Marie-Victorin (published in news) gave Pierre Nantelle a 12-point lead over his CAQ opponent.

According to Mainstreet, despite the fact that the two polls were taken a week apart, Dorismond would have preferred a seven-point lead, a difference just within the cumulative margin of error (plus or minus 4.7 percentage points either way) for both candidates. . It would be mathematically correct to say that this is a statistical draw, but it’s still notable progress.

The question now is which of these political formations will perform best on the ground – both on the first weekend of April, during early voting, and on April 11 (Monday), on election day.

The scientist in me is particularly interested in the outcome of this race, not only because of its implications for the dynamics in the National Assembly, or even the potential arrival of an experienced politician like Pierre Nantel representing PQ, but also because of differences in measuring public opinion in this district.

Under the current conditions, Reper’s figures were unexpected. Recall that in 2018 the Sovereignist Party barely retained its stronghold with Catherine Fournier. And national support for PQ has since dwindled, by an average of six to eight points since the last general election. Is Marie Victorine an enclave distinct from the rest of Quebec? Political microclimate? Who knows.

Aside from the usual caveats that this was an internal poll and that by-election voting is always risky (due to lower turnout than in general elections), the methodological principle of Occam’s Razor should be trusted here, according to which the simplest hypothesis should be preferred first. explaining the phenomenon.

In this case, the relative strength of PQ in this ride is Pierre Nantel’s candidacy itself. A politician known for his years as MP for the Longueuil-Saint-Hubert federal motorway (which partly crosses the Marie-Victorin borders), Pierre Nantel has remained in public space since his departure from the House of Commons, including as an MP. permanent member A game on the LCN and other Quebecor media platforms. Fame, of course, plays into his hands.

However, one of the two polls is wrong, and the right one is the one that probably best measures the support of other parties. Indeed, two probability polls show similar support for the Parti Québec: 37% for Repère Communication and 36% for Mainstreet.

Repère Communication, on the other hand, estimates the intention to vote for other parties higher than Mainstreet measures: 15% for PLQ, 12% for QS and 9% for PCQ, for a total of 36%. Mainstreet gives these three parties a total of 20%. And that may be where these elections will be played out.

Several hypotheses may explain these differences. As mentioned above, by-election participation rates tend to be much lower than in general elections (in the 2016 Marie-Victorin by-election, 26% of voters bothered to vote, compared to 63% in the general election).

However, low turnout may be even more pronounced among voters of parties with no real chance of winning. For example, could it be that Mainstreet measured the decline in enthusiasm among liberal voters? A line-up not competitive on the ground in Marie-Victorin, could it be that a section of the PLQ voters decided to support the CAQ candidate in order to defeat Pierre Nantel?

Conversely, while tensions between PQ and QS have been well-documented over the years, perhaps a measurable decline in QS support in Marie-Victorin could improve the chances of Pierre Nantel, a former member of the federal NDP (the party with which the QS shares, according to polls, many voters in Quebec)?

However, the poll analyst in me is especially curious to see how the results of these two polls compare. Maybe the pear will be cut in half, and we will almost have a draw at the finish line. Perhaps the Mainstreet sample is representative of the Marie-Victorin electorate, but not of those who will run in this by-election. And perhaps also that the Repère poll heavily underestimates the CAQ: in 2018 it got 28% in the Marie-Victorin, so it is unlikely to be lower than this level now – based on numerous regional and national polls in recent years. months.

A victory for the CAQ would no doubt reinforce the aura of invincibility around the CAQ, which also won two other by-elections for that legislature, in Roberval and Jean Talon, by comfortable margins. A PQ victory will bring Paul St. Pierre Plamondon rare good news for his party in view of the autumn elections (and turn off the valve, at least temporarily, for those who predict the disappearance of PQ), as my colleague Guillaume points out. Burgo-Cote in the May issue of the magazine news.

So what’s my prediction? The real, honest, scientific answer is “I don’t know,” but I can’t wait to compare the numbers. We’ll find out on Monday evening.

* * *

Data for this Mainstreet Research poll was collected from April 2 to April 4, 2022, from 431 Quebec voters aged 18 or over living in the Parish of Marie-Victorin. The margin of error for the results of the full sample is ±4.7%, 19 times out of 20. Respondents were called by robots on land and mobile lines. To view the survey report, please follow this link.

Leave a Comment